Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:why did you post this? (Score 1) 235

What's faster than the speed of light?

(Other then the hypothesized expansion of the early universe as current theory stands.)

The current expansion of the universe is faster than the speed of light.

Distances between the out-most galaxies at opposite ends of the universe is growing faster than the speed of light and current models suggest that this process is accelerating.

Some quick (and hopefully not totally bogus!) back of the envelope calculations: the latest value for the Hubble constant is 71 km/sec (with about 5% of accuracy), which means 71 km/sec expansion of the universe, per megaparsec of space. Given that the current size of the universe is about 28,000 psec, this means that the universe is expanding about 2 million kilometers per second. That's moving opposite boundaries away from each other more than 6 times faster than the speed of light. (which is 0.3 million kilometers per second)

That does not mean that any physical matter can move faster than the speed of light, sadly.

Comment Re:why did you post this? (Score 1) 235

Did you know that medieval people thought that the earth was flat?

No, they didn't.

That was my point - see the "it's wrong" in parentheses :-)

All three statements are "common knowledge" but are false: medieval people were not so stupid to think that the earth is flat, the universe expands faster than the speed of light and hackers were not criminals originally.

Comment Re:why did you post this? (Score 2) 235

knowledge flows from those who have it, to those who do not. If those who have it do not share it, then they are to blame for it not being widely known.

How do you know he didn't share it? Maybe he shared it and people still believed in the simpler story.

This happens all the time.

  • - Did you know that medieval people thought that the earth was flat? (It's common knowledge and it's wrong.)
  • - Did you know that there's nothing faster than the speed of light? (It's common knowledge and it's wrong.)
  • - Did you know that hackers were always criminals? (It's common knowledge still it's wrong.)

Fact is, 75% of people have around average or worse intelligence and they prefer to simplify what they know about the world they live in. Do you belong to that group?

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

Comment Re:another government failure (Score 1) 174

You put in awful lot of faith in the free market working in education. Can you point to a single situation where it has worked? Looking at any list of the world's top economies or eduction systems shows a list filled with countries with a strong government investment in education.

USA before 1965. That was not difficult, was it?

To understand how the US got where it is today you need to understand one important detail: up to around 1950 the US was a strongly immigration driven economy - unlike any of the other major economies.

If you look at key "US inventions" before 1965 resulting in a Nobel prize then virtually all of them were invented by people who were born and taught elsewhere (mostly in Europe) and then emigrated to the US . If you look at the list of Nobel laureates there's barely anyone born and educated in the US in that time frame - only immigrants.

If you were right then that list would be full of US-born Nobel prize holders ... but it isn't.

So, without realizing it, you actually support the grandparent's point: countries with historically strong public education lead in innovation. And yes, countries can also brain-drain capable people from other countries and can thus bridge their lack of good public education - but I'm sure that's not the point you wanted to make?

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

There are always floods and droughts and fires and everything pests etc., and everything goes wrong, and yet the prices for commodities have these things included into the market prices, it is nothing new.

So you finally admitted the obvious, that commodity prices go up in an unprecedented way when unprecedented weather hits key production areas, and when there's unprecedented demand for them? So having admitted that why are you still linking the price increases to 'money printing'? You have not proven the link - in fact you have just weakened that argument by admitting that a much stronger channel exists: old-fashioned supply & demand forces.

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

Apparently there's a fine distinction between minting 'silver rounds' and minting silver coins with "$20" on them.

Also, he was apparently found guilty of money laundering as well. Could it be that they took the other cornerstone of libertarian ideology too seriously, the "We do not owe civilization any stinkin' taxes for the infrastructure we used!" bit?

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

Oh for fucks sake.

If either of you two wanted to make a point instead of arguing, you'd pick some commodities that weren't effected by fire, flood, drought, or unprecedented demand..

That's not easy (half of the commodities are weather affected, most of the others are under heavy demand), but there's such a commodity: iron ore - it is largely decoupled from the weather and from financial speculation.

Check the price of iron ore: it even dropped in price during much of the bad weather period during early and mid 2010 - when it started going up on higher Chinese industrial demand (and increasing Chinese stockpiling).

But yes, in the long run most commodities will gradually increase in price - would you expect anything else on a slowly warming planet with limited resources?

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

You are trying to change the subject once again - why are you talking about the days of communism and the Pravda?

I'm talking about the year of 2010 when a record heat wave hit Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. You started with this bold-faced lie:

[...] shortages of supply in commodities? On which planet?

I gave you the link: here it is again ("Russian wheat export ban threatens higher inflation and food riots") . That article predicted food inflation before last year's big run-up in food commodity prices.

Here's more pictures from that record heat-wave ("Wildfire Pictures: Russia Burns, Moscow Chokes") , unprecedented in Russia's 200 years history of meteorological record keeping.

The year 2010 was also the hottest year on record, with record low Arctic ice early this year ("Arctic warmth: Sea ice at record low levels in January [2011]") .

Can you read, liar? Can you think? Do you really think that with major wheat production areas on fire or hit by record draught and with population growing ever faster wheat production is just business as usual and prices will stay super low?

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

the droughts and fires and floods, and hurricanes, etc., have always been a problem for production,

Normal weather fluctuations are always part of normal prices, sure - but which part of " record bad weather causes record high prices" concept was difficult for you to understand, liar?

It's one more item added to the long, unanswered list of your lies.

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

It's been less that two years since the owners of a small business minting gold coins were imprisoned and all their assets stolen by the federal government.

If you mean the "Liberty Dollar" case then it happened not two but four years ago, and the guy was recently found guilty by a jury on money laundering and other crimes.

He has not been sentenced yet and the forfeiture trial is still ongoing - i.e. his assets are still his, not "stolen".

Take a look at the coins, it's easy to mistake them for specially minted US dollars and complaints from customers about those 'fake dollars' is what brought him the federal charges. He should have made them look more clearly distinct ...

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

[...] shortages of supply in commodities? On which planet?

On the third (blue) planet of the Solar System, Milky Way, liar.

It is clearly not the planet you are living on.

Oil shortages? Peak oil shortages in supply combined with unprecedented growth of oil demand from China.

Sugar shortages? Record bad weather in Brasil and a record typhoon in Australia hitting the biggest sugar production area (global warming, anyone?) hurting supplies combined with unprecedented sugar demand from India - the largest sugar consumer on the planet.

Wheat shortages? Unprecedented heat-wave in Russia (global warming, anyone?) and a wheat export ban by Russia - combined with weak wheat production elsewhere as well.

Do basic supply and demand pressures mean anything on the planet you live on? Do you know the concept of inflexible demand, where advanced countries will pay pretty much any price to get the wheat they want, even if it means that they starve poorer countries?

But you really need to address the lies of yours I've already exposed, before getting into new topics ...

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

Why? Econ 101. Commerce comes to a grinding halt if I'm trying to pay you with chickens and you only accept widgets, and you need to pay somebody with gold. It doesn't work.

It's amazing that the human race managed to conduct commerce for thousands of years before the Fed came about.

Have you ever wondered why it took such a long time for modern civilization to evolve, and why civilization basically exploded after the 18th century?

Centralized money, banks and easier access to credit was an important factor: money could be pooled and risk takers did not have to convince someone face to face to take up that risk personally - a pooled entity (banks, big investors) could serve that role more productively.

Before that, during the static gold standard, the lack of liquidity was stifling innovation big time, for thousands of years. Only the super-rich could afford large-scale risk-taking, and their number was low and highly concentrated. More money, more pooling of money and better (and faster) distribution of money activated incredible reserves of the human race.

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983

Just as a side-note, he has (again) not replied to my criticism of the figures he gave:

In the above post he compiled a variation of those lies: pointing out commodities bubbles (which were mostly caused by physical shortages on a finite planet with growing population, well before "money printing" began after the 2008 crisis) while not pointing out deflationary forces that balance out price bubbles. You can see how real aggregate inflation looks like, in the links I provided above.

He clearly knows how to propagate Fox News anti-government propaganda, but sadly he does not know how to interpret and defend them.

Gold-bug trolls are not what they used to be! :-)

Comment Re:Lawlessness (Score 1) 983


You annihilated all the gold-bug arguments in one simple paragraph.

Fact is that the average citizen can buy ten times more loaves of bread than 200 years ago, financed by one year's honest work. They can also buy infinitely more cars, computers - and get guaranteed health care as a citizen's right in most modern countries.

That the absolute numbers printed on the price sticker are increasing slightly every year does not matter much as long as the numbers coming in from your weekly pay-check have numbers increasing by at least as much .

If you check those two numbers over time, then you'll see that indeed the purchasing power of the average US citizen is increasing. (+9% over the last 8 years depicted by that graph - but the trend is very similar 50, 100 or 200 years back as well.)

Slashdot Top Deals

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.